American goulash


American goulash


American Goulash, also known as American Chop Suey, is a comforting one-pot dish that’s hearty, flavorful, and incredibly satisfying. This classic American comfort food combines ground beef, pasta, and a rich tomato-based sauce seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices. Perfect for a cozy weeknight dinner or feeding a hungry crowd, this dish is sure to become a family favorite.

Reason to Try the Recipe:

Experience the comforting flavors of home-cooked goodness with this American Goulash recipe. Packed with savory ground beef, aromatic onions and garlic, and a medley of herbs and spices, each bite offers a warm embrace of flavor. Whether you’re craving a nostalgic meal from childhood or simply seeking a wholesome and delicious dinner option, this recipe delivers on both taste and comfort.

Summary of Ingredients:

This American Goulash recipe calls for ground beef, onion, garlic, bay leaves, paprika, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chicken broth, marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, water, soy sauce, elbow macaroni, Italian parsley, and optional shredded white Cheddar cheese.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve this hearty American Goulash on its own for a complete meal, or pair it with a side salad or crusty bread for added texture and flavor. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and a generous dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Storage Info:

Store any leftover American Goulash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of water or broth to loosen the sauce if needed. This dish also freezes well; portion it into freezer-safe containers and store for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Techniques or Tips:

  • Browning the ground beef and onions before adding the liquids helps develop rich flavor and texture in the dish.
  • Adjust the level of heat by increasing or decreasing the amount of cayenne pepper to suit your taste preferences.
  • Stir the goulash occasionally while simmering to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot and ensure even cooking.


For a vegetarian version of this dish, omit the ground beef and use cooked lentils or a meat substitute such as crumbled tofu or tempeh. Alternatively, add extra vegetables such as diced bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini for added texture and nutrition.

FAQs about the Recipe:

Q: Can I use a different type of pasta? A: Yes, you can substitute the elbow macaroni with other short pasta shapes such as penne, rotini, or farfalle.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: Absolutely! American Goulash reheats well and actually tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld together. Prepare it in advance and store it in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to enjoy.

American Goulash

American goulash
Enjoy this hearty American goulash, a comforting one-pot meal featuring seasoned ground beef, pasta, and a rich tomato-based sauce, topped with optional melted cheese.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Serving Size 8


  • Pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Knife and cutting board


  • - 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • - 2 pounds ground beef
  • - 1 large onion diced
  • - 4 cloves garlic minced
  • - 2 large bay leaves
  • - 2 tablespoons paprika
  • - 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • - 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • - ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • - 1 pinch cayenne pepper or to taste
  • - 1 quart chicken broth
  • - 1 24 oz jar marinara sauce
  • - 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • - 1 cup water
  • - 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • - 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • - ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • - 1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese Optional


  • Heat olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and diced onion; cook and stir until beef is browned and onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking and stirring until any liquid is evaporated, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add minced garlic, bay leaves, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld, about 3 minutes.
  • Pour in chicken broth, marinara sauce, and diced tomatoes. Swirl water in the marinara sauce jar, then pour into the pot. Stir in soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes until flavors intensify.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a rapid simmer. Stir in macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, until just barely tender, about 12 minutes (check for doneness after 10 minutes).
  • Remove from heat, discard bay leaves, and stir in chopped parsley and shredded Cheddar cheese (if using). Cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.


- Feel free to customize with your favorite herbs and spices.
- Serve with crusty bread or a side salad for a complete meal.
- Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.


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